“UT Government is working with a mission to transform the Urban living through technological innovations and streamlining fundamental infrastructure changes required for the future”. Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha made these remarks while chairing a review meeting of Housing and Urban Development Department here at Civil Secretariat.

“The transformation of J&K must be visible on the ground and not just confined to official plan’s file”, said the Lt Governor.

The government machinery must adopt a pragmatic approach to deliver necessary projects without any further delay and fulfill the vision of making Jammu & Srinagar Smart Cities, observed the Lt Governor.

While reviewing the Flagship Schemes & Key Initiatives in Urban Sector, the Lt Governor directed for initiating transformative projects in both Jammu and Srinagar.

Underlining the importance of incorporating Drainage and Sewerage systems during the planning process of developing urban areas, the Lt Governor directed the officials to integrate the same in the Master plans to change the landscapes of the cities.

The Lt Governor asked the officials to rope in best professional experts in their respective fields and make them a part of the urban development planning process.

The Lt Governor advised the H&UDD department to identify and engage graduates from IIT Jammu, IIM Jammu, NIT Srinagar, and other National Institutes having relevant work experience, under Lieutenant Governor’s Sustainable Development Fellowship for making the delivery structure of the department more efficient and robust.

He further stressed on taking ecology factor into consideration, besides active participation of the public & elected representatives of Urban Local Bodies in the development process.

Solid waste management is another key component we must be focusing on. A comparative study should be done to develop a more sustainable model of waste management. Ensure strict enforcement of Plastic waste management, besides no blockage of natural drainage for clean urban areas, the Lt Governor told the officers.

He also passed strict directions for the completion of projects within timelines while maintaining standards of construction for ensuring long durability. The tendering process must be completed within fixed timeframes. Put in place a robust Mechanism for capacity building and audit of the manpower, he added.

Directions were also passed for audit of community toilets for ensuring their proper usage and maintenance.

The Lt Governor further asked the concerned officials to put special focus on Devolution of greater financial powers to JMC/ULBs; Protection of Livelihood of Street vendors; Affordable Housing, Slum Redevelopment & Rehabilitation and Township Policy and Solid Waste Management & Plastic Waste Management Action Plans.

Terming development of the parks with public-private partnership as a good initiative by the JMC, the Lt Governor stated that the good practice must be replicated by other agencies as well in the other cities for a better outcome.

As a part of the interventions made by the Government to strengthen the governance framework and making it more transparent, the Lt Governor e-inaugurated and laid e-foundation for multiple projects of Housing and Urban Development.

The Lt Governor launched the Online Building Permission system aiming at simplifying the building permission process within defined timelines of 21 days to facilitate the people. With the system being made online, now the applicant can track the application status, get NOC, make fee-payment through online mode and receive real-time alerts.

The occasion also marked the launch of Enforcement App by JMC for ensuring factual reporting about unauthorized constructions and their status by enforcement inspectors, besides the JK LED Street Light Complaint App to bring ease of use, efficiency and transparency in the complaint resolution process.

Other important projects for which the e-foundation was laid today were Modernization of Narwal Fruit / Vegetable Mandi costing Rs 9.86 cr and Road improvement project from Dogra Chowk to KC Chowk Jammu at a cost of Rs 9.23 cr.

Meanwhile, the Lt Governor e-inaugurated various works and schemes and included Drainage Scheme and Dewatering station at Lal Chowk, Srinagar at Rs 9.96 cr; Stormwater drainage network at Malbagh, Srinagar costing Rs 6.15 cr; Dewatering station at Nund Reshi Colony Bemina, Srinagar worth Rs 3.23 cr, besides laying the e-foundation for Drainage Scheme at Khomaini Chowk, Bemina under AMRUT costing Rs 11.57 cr and Drainage Scheme at Iqbal Colony, HMT, Srinagar under AMRUT, at Rs 3.03 cr.

Sh. Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary, H&UDD gave a detailed briefing about the Initiatives, Action taken & Achievements of the department. He also informed the chair about the progress made under various flagship schemes including AMRUT; SBM(U); Smart Cities Mission; PMAY-HFA(U); DAY-NULM.

Ms. Avny Lavasa, Commissioner JMC and Sh. Athar Aamir-ul-Shafi Khan, Commissioner, SMC gave overview of the working of their respective Municipal Corporations.

Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Sh. Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Dr. Raghav Langer, Divisional Commissioner Jammu and other senior officers attended the meeting, in person and through video conferencing.

Sh. Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor JMC; Sh. Junaid Azim Mattu, Mayor SMC and Ms. Purnima Sharma, Deputy Mayor JMC joined through virtual mode.

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